She wore red roses in her hair, he donned his huge orange sunglasses — Myanmar’s democracy icon met one of her biggest fans, U2 frontman and activist rock star Bono yesterday. “I’m star-struck,” admitted the Irish singer, who has long supported her freedom struggle and dedicated the song Walk On to her, when they met at a peace forum in Oslo, Suu Kyi’s latest stop on a five-nation Europe tour.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi received superstar treatment and was cheered by crowds of many thousands as she visited Norway on her first Europe trip in a quarter-century after years of house arrest.
Speaking of his admiration for Suu Kyi, he said, “It’s really her non-violent position that I find so impressive. You get the feeling with Daw Suu that peace is not the absence of war around us but rather peace is the absence of war within us,” he said, using a Burmese honorific that means ‘aunt’ for Suu Kyi.
When Suu Kyi was asked whether she liked Bono’s song about her and her family’s struggle, Bono interjected: “She’s a Bob Marley fan ... So am I.”
But Suu Kyi was quick to praise his work, “I like the song because it’s very close to how I feel, that it’s up to you to carry on. “It’s good if you have supporters. It’s good if you have people who are sympathetic and understanding. But in the end, it’s your own two legs that have to carry you on.”
Suu Kyi, speaking on the need to fight injustice and help people, paid her own compliment to Bono. “I think there is always something that can be done, and we need people like you to do that. We need people like Bono. We must have Bono in on it!”
Bono later gave Suu Kyi a lift aboard his private jet to Dublin — where she will be feted at the Electric Burma tribute concert hosted by Amnesty International.